08/23/2011 4:16PM

Arqana sale sees Australian still spending freely


Paul Fudge’s Waratah Thoroughbreds continued to make headlines with high-priced purchases Tuesday at Arqana’s Deauville select yearling sale in France, where two boutique evening sessions ended with encouraging figures.

Fudge, who is building a racing and breeding program at Waratah in New South Wales, Australia, picked up his second Deauville session-topper, and the auction’s most expensive horse overall, Tuesday when he paid 1.7 million euros, about $2,448,000, for a Galileo filly. The bay filly is the first foal out of group-placed Sanjida, by Polish Precedent. Sanjida is a half-sister to Group 1 winner Sarafina and to Group 1-placed Sanaya.

Haras de la Perelle consigned the session-topper.

Early in the session, Fudge also bought a Galileo colt out of Grade 1 Beverly D. winner Royal Highness for 500,000 euros, or $720,000. Ecurie des Monceaux was the consignor. Fudge also bought Monday’s session-topper, a $633,600 Invincible Spirit-Elle Galante colt. The dam is by Galileo.

In 2009, Fudge sold his coal seam gas exploration permit to Australia’s Origin Energy for $466 million, and he has been buying at the Thoroughbred market’s top level since. Last year, he was a major purchaser at Keeneland’s November breeding stock sale, where his purchases included $1.2 million Elusive Sparkle, carrying a three-quarter-brother to 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense.

Bidding at Deauville was more spirited on Tuesday night than on Monday, and the boutique night sessions ended with 149 yearlings bringing about $31,220,640 for an approximate average of $209,534. The median was about $165,600. The buy-back rate was 29 percent.

Arqana reformatted the auction this year, moving it to a later date and expanding its first two sessions to 226 horses over both nights. Last year’s first two sessions offered 176 horses. A larger group was to sell Wednesday and Thursday.